Timeline of al-Qaeda Terrorist Attacks
On December 29, 1992, the first attack by Al Qaeda was carried out in Aden, Yemen. That evening, a bomb went off at the Gold Mohur hotel, where U.S. troops had been staying while en-route to Somalia, though the troops had already left when the bomb exploded. The bombers targeted a second hotel, the Aden Movenpick, where they believed American troops might also be staying. That bomb detonated prematurely in the hotel car park, around the same time as the other bomb explosion, killing two Australian tourists. Bin Laden later claimed responsibility for the 1992 Yemen attack.
The 1993 World Trade Center bombing occurred on February 26, 1993, when Ramzi Yousef parked a rented van full of explosives in the parking garage beneath the World Trade Center. The explosion claimed six victims, and over one thousand people were wounded. Ramzi Yousef, the nephew of 9/11 planner Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, had trained in Afghanistan, although Khalid Sheikh Mohammed did not join Al Qaeda until 1998. Yousef worked in cooperation with the blind sheikh Abdul Rahman who was living across the Hudson, in Jersey City, at the time of the attack. The FBI later turned up evidence that Osama bin Laden provided financial support to the blind sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman.
1994 Bojinka, Philippine Airlines Flight 434 Ramzi Yousef and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (prior to joining with Al Qaeda) planned Operation Bojinka, a plot to destroy airplanes in mid-Pacific flight using explosives. They tested their attacks in November 1994 on the Philippine Airlines Flight 434, which also involved Abu Sayyaf (a Southeast Asia affiliate of Al Qaeda). An apartment fire in Manila, Philippines exposed the plan before it could be carried out. Yousef was arrested, but Mohammed evaded capture until 2003.
1998 U.S.-embassy bombings. In August 1998, Al-Qaeda operatives carried out the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killing more than 200 people and injuring more than 5,000 others.
In December 1999 and into 2000, al-Qaeda planned attacks against U.S. and Israeli tourists visiting Jordan for millennial celebrations; however, Jordanian authorities thwarted the planned attacks and put 28 suspects on trial. Part of this plot included the planned bombing of LAX, but this plot was foiled when bomber Ahmed Ressam was caught at the US-Canadian border with explosives in the trunk of his car. Al-Qaeda also planned to attack the USS The Sullivans on January 3, 2000, but the effort failed due to too much weight being put on the small boat meant to bomb the ship. Despite the setback with the USS The Sullivans, al-Qaeda succeeded in bombing a U.S. warship in October 2000 with the USS Cole bombing.
German police foiled a plot to bomb the Christmas market near the Strasbourg Cathedral in Strasbourg, France in December 2000.
Rizal Day Bombings in the Philippines (2000)
The most destructive act ascribed to al-Qaeda was the series of attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001. These attacks destroyed the World Trade Center and damaged the Pentagon in a series of suicide hijacking of airplanes. Osama bin Laden did take credit for the attacks days before the 2004 Presidential Election.
The 2003 Istanbul bombings were four truck bomb attacks carried out on November 15, 2003 and November 20, 2003, in Istanbul, Turkey, leaving 57 people dead, and 700 wounded. Several men have been convicted for their involvement.
March 11, 2004 It is thought that al-Qaeda was responsible for the bombing of the Madrid commuter train system, 911 days after the 9/11 attacks. However, the group did not claim any responsibility of this attack.
Al-Qaeda is believed to have been responsible for the 2004 Khobar massacre, carried out on May 29, 2004.
Four members of Al-Qaeda, three of British Pakistani descent and one of British Jamaican descent attacked Londons public transport on July 7, 2005.. Three bombs were detonated on the London Underground and one on a double decker bus. The attacks took place between 8.50 am and 9.47 am. 56 people died during the attacks (including 4 terrorists) and around 700 were injured.
November 9, 2005 Amman hotel bombingSuicide bombers merged into a wedding crowd in Hayatt Amman Hotel, with two other hotels targeted in the same night leaving 60 people dead and hundreds injured.
Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb claimed to have been responsible for the April 11, 2007 Algiers bombings. Two bombs exploded within a short time of each other, one at the prime ministers office and the other at a police station. The blasts killed 33 people. It was the first time a bombing had occurred in the capital in more than a decade.
Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the bombing of the Danish embassy in Pakistan on June 2, 2008. A car bomb killed six people and injuring several.Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, a high-ranking member of Al-Qaeda, issued a statement after the bombing, claiming that the attack was a response to the 2005 publication of the Muhammed Cartoons.
On June 1, 2009, Muslim convert Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad opened fire in a drive-by shooting on a United States military recruiting office in Little Rock, Arkansas, killing one US soldier and wounding another. At the time he stated that the act was "for the sake of Allah, the Lord of all the world, and also a retaliation on U.S. military" and law enforcement authorities concluded "there doesn't appear to be a wider conspiracy or, at this point in time, any indication that he's a part of a larger group or a conspiracy". However he later professed that he had conducted a "Jihadi attack" as part of Al Qaeda.
Shortly after the arrest of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in the December 25, 2009 bombing attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253, the suspect reportedly told officials he had traveled to Yemen for training by Al-Qaeda, although British counterterrorism officials dismissed the claims. President Barack Obama's top security official Janet Napolitano on December 27 stated "Right now we have no indication it's part of anything larger", warning it would be "inappropriate to speculate" that Al-Qaeda had sent Abdulmutallab on a suicide mission. On December 28, President Obama called it an "attempted terrorist attack" and promised to "to use every element of our national power to disrupt, to dismantle and defeat the violent extremists who threaten us, whether they are from Afghanistan or Pakistan, Yemen or Somalia...". That same day, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for the attack. The group released photos of Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab smiling in a white shirt and white Islamic skullcap with the Al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula banner in the background. On January 8, 2010, President Barack Obama took responsibility for security lapses exposed by the attack, declaring in televised remarks "We are at war against Al-Qaeda", noting "our adversaries will seek new ways to evade them, as was shown by the Christmas attack" By February 2010, the suspect told federal investigators that cleric Anwar al-Awlaki gave him orders to carry out the attack. Al-Jazeera reported that Awlaki issued a statement that "Brother mujahed Umar Farouk – may God relieve him – is one of my students, yes... We had kept in contact, but I didn't issue a fatwa to Umar Farouk for this operation,".
On October 29, 2010, two packages, each containing a bomb consisting of 300 to 400 grams (11–14 oz) of plastic explosives and a detonating mechanism, were found on separate cargo planes. The bombs were discovered as a result of intelligence received from Saudi Arabia's security chief. They were bound from Yemen to the United States, and were discovered at en route stop-overs, in England and in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. One week later, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) took responsibility for the plot. U.S. and British authorities had believed that AQAP, and specifically Anwar al-Awlaki, were behind the bombing attempts. They also believed the bombs were most likely constructed by AQAP's main explosives expert, Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri.